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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Aleís recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editorís Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
crossovert (8853) - Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2011
From a magnum bottle, taste Christmas! This one taste sort of like Christmas tree and Christmas caramels. I liked it.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (8837) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 2009 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a very thick sticky pour. Good looking beer. The nose is great. A bright nose of light evergreen resin, a bit of cinnamon, fruity pine and a touch of molasses and dark malts. A kiss of toasted character. Pretty nice rich brew. There is a little bit of rye spice and a kiss of light herbal hoppiness as well. Itís pretty solid. 2008 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a nice sticky tan head. The nose is quite spicy. A bit of cocoa and soft pine. Cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of light fruitiness. Dusty cocoa and a bit of herbal character. Some light mintiness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Molasses and a bit of toastiness. Some rye and wheaty spice. As it warms the spruce and juniper picks up. Lovely toastiness and a bit of soft spice. Itís lovely. 8 5 8 5 17 2006 bottle. Dark brown/ruby tinted beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted malts, sweet breadiness with loads of fresh ginger and bright fresh cinnamon. There is also a lot of pine/spruce aroma that comes to the fore as the beer warms up. Flavour is malty sweet, toast and whole wheat spiciness, cinnamon and nutneg and ginger. Soft chocolatey malt notes behind the sweet spices as well. Lingering pine flavour and earthy/herbal bitterness. Smells and tastes like Christmas, which I gather was the point. I like this years better than 2005s version. 8 5 8 5 16 2005 bottle. Beautiful deep brown/ruby beer with a thich long-lasting brown head. Sweet caramelly aroma, a bit of toastiness, assertive licorice and even a touch of smokiness. Flavour is quite spicy aroma, bready sweet pudding-like malt and spice backgroung. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel with a long sweet and brown sugary finish. Dark cherries and black pepper on the back of the palate as well. Ar 7 Ap 5 Fl 7 Pa 3 Ov 15

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
shrubber85 (8772) - Greenville, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2014
Bottle. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel malt aroma. Brown with small head. Sweet nutmeg, cinnamon, and creamy caramel malt flavor. Very pleasant.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8750) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - SEP 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2011 Bottled. A black beer with a lovely long-lasting beige coloured head and a touch of lacing. The aroma is spicy with lots of cinnamon. Sugary, a little waring and certainly Christmassy. The taste is also pleasantly spicy. A little thin in the mouth and not as spicy as the 2004. Almost restrained flavours. Drinkable but not particularly special. Score 3.6
Subsequent rating scored 3.7. Score unchanged

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leaparsons (8726) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 29, 2006
Bottle. Swan and Rushes, Leicester. Black with a small beige head. Aromas are herbal and spicy with root vegetables and liquorice. Some dark chocolate bitterness. Flavours are herbal, medicinal and berruy fruit with bitter dark chocolate and spices. Earthy and smoky with a long aftertaste. I could still taste this on the palate after a half hour walk home. Very good.

2.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
mcberko (8725) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 13, 2010
12 oz. bottle, pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and clove. Flavour of christmas spices and heavy on the ginger. This definitely isnít for me.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MoritzF (8676) - GERMANY - MAY 30, 2006
(bottle, vintage 2005, with many thanks to bierkoning !) Dark brown colour with a stable tanned mid-sized foam. Moderately sweet and slightly roasted malt aroma with a floral note of violets, toffee, liquorice and cinnamon. Bittersweet flavour, medium body, moderate carbonation. Roasty malty taste with liquorice, violets and citrus peel; dry, malty and spicy finish with a lasting aftertaste with chocolate and spices. Complex and tasty brew.

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Scopey (8526) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 20, 2010
2010 edition on tap at the Euston Tap. Colour; dark ruby with bubbly beige head. Nose; GINGER, sweetness, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste; bitter, dominant ginger, warming sweetness, nutmeg, pumpkin and currants. Too thin and weak for a christmas beer!

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
3fourths (8498) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 1, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2012 Looks the same as the others... it looks like Anchor OSA. Rich and sharp toffee, butter and perhaps scotch aroma - sharp is the key word. Very fresh, very robust and it smells almost chewy. Piney flavor up front with a semi-caustic texture - rough and brittle it feels. My first impressions are that it may need some cellaring, but for now itís a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. Itís going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as Iíve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (8478) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 8, 2012
12 oz 2011 bottle pour at home is dark reddish almost black, thin off white head as well. Aroma brought notes of caramel, chocolate, some coffee and roast, with some spicy ginger, cinnamon and clove in there with the pine needle/juniper notes. Taste is a mix of chocolate, coffee, spruce and ginger notes combining actually fairly decently, a slightly spicy and bitter finish. Different, but enjoyable!


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